Beverages have always played a significant role in foodservice and the category continuously is evolving. Chicago-based Technomic recently released its report titled “Away-from-Home Beverage Study,” which covers how consumer demands and business conditions have shifted within the past few years.

“Beverage growth has outpaced that of foodservice within the past few years thanks to innovative options such as nitro coffee, plant-based milks and other alternative beverages entering this space,” said David Henkes, principal at Technomic, in a statement. “Although challenges like third-party delivery are encroaching on beverage occasions, the category has a lot of opportunities available through offering a wide variety of innovative beverage options to their guests.”

Among the takeaways that the report found were that 40 percent of consumers will not purchase any beverage or will leave an operation if their preferred beverage is not available. Additionally, overall, away-from-home beverages grew about 4.1 percent over the past few years, slightly above foodservice growth. Meanwhile, 59 percent of total beverage sales are coming from just three segments: quick-service restaurants, coffee cafes and full-service restaurants, Technomic states.

The 2019 “Away-from-Home Beverage Study” serves as a guide for food and beverage professionals to measure the size of the industry and category, understand path to purchase, uncover unmet needs and develop and grow beverage strategies. Research components of this report include consumer and operator surveys, qualitative research with 40 foodservice operators and interviews with major chains, distributors and beverage suppliers, the market research firm says. BI